Away for a well earned rest

April 27, 2007

normal service will be resumed early in May

We’re taking my parents away for a week  to celebrate one of my Mother’s milestone birthdays (she’ll kill me if I divulge the truth ) so expect minimal blogging for the time being.

I’ll be posting an in depth review of the E650 when I get back and may use a bit of blogmailr whilst away if anything tickles my fancy.

have fun

Alasdair

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it’s oh so quiet

April 9, 2007

shhh shhh

it’s the easter holidays around here and I’ll get a battering if caught blogging – hope you’ve had a good one


problems with images

March 31, 2007

all is not well in the world of worpress and windows live writer beta

not sure what is going on but there seems to be some problems with uploading locally cached images on live writer – I’ll do some investgation, hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly


Microsoft Price rises come April?

March 6, 2007

There are indications that Microsoft are going to undertake a wholesale price restructuring in April.

The actual figures are unknown to us but tasters that we’ve had shared with us indicate that some popular application suites may rise by only a few pence whilst other portfolio products may be up to 300% of their current price.

I’m not a Microsoft licensing expert  (there’s other people that do that ) but I understand that this will affect all the licensing models.

I did ask if it was OK to share this info here (although it’s sketchy) I don’t want to be a blog casualty so early on in my endeavours


off to the TechNet EVO Roadshow

February 15, 2007

any body else on their way to this event? it was over subscribed on day one and I’ve just had my waiting list upgrade and I’m now going. look out for a blog or two on (and maybe at) the event.


two major announcements from BT – wireless Cities and FMC plus Windows Mobile 6

February 13, 2007

I’ve alluded to my interest in FMC and Mobility (mainly exchange activesync orientated services tbh) and two announcements from BT are really going to set the cat amongst the  pigeons.

firstly the news today that BT have managed to hit their twelve wirelessly enabled city centres ahead of  their March 2007 target  the cities are :

  • Nottingham (Hurrah – can’t wait to try this out)
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Portsmouth
  • Sheffield
  • Westminster

now this is great news in itself but add this information regarding a UMA enabled Windows Mobile 6 Standard device and BT really have stolen a march on the opposition.  Mind you the device of choice HP iPAQ 514 (providing it shares this form factor) is no looker (see another view here at unwired), is a little light on memory IMHO and  anyone who rushed to try the SPV M5000 / XDA Exec when WM5 first appeared will never forget that first is not necessarily best.

UMA for the uninitiated is the ability to roam from network to network across different technologies, from WiFi to Cellular and back again, BT’s Fusion and latterly Orange’s Unique are the two most  well known services in the UK.  the performance is variable in my experience with handoffs a little like 3G to 2G and back again but as early adopters it’s a great idea.

now I know you geeks can do this manually but this make it easy for the techno non compos out there and that’s what we need! 

UMA can be a little hit and miss there’s been a distinct lack of UMA devices capable of taking advantage of exchange activesync but this changes all that and I can see a great deal of interest,  as two of our major customers are looking for FMC solutions at the moment.

I’m looking for a Windows Mobile 6 Professional Device mind you as I like my touch screen.  Also UMA on a data card or in data connections would be fantastic.

now the story isn’t all rosy and anyone who’s used a congested Hotspot will know that the broadband superhighway speeds flaunted actually turn into country road behind a tractor kind of experience, but it’s early days yet.

there another considerations particularly security and there are a couple of companies like Netmotion offer intelligent VPN clients that can maintain sessions across and during network transfers so a session is maintained as you roam from Hotspot to Home to Cellular or 3G.

I’m getting the feeling we’re at another tipping point :)


flexible working in the news again

February 12, 2007

two items in today’s news have brought the issue of flexible working to the fore.  

  • a report of comments made by Beverley Hughes minister of state in the DfES in a book to be published in May.
  • the furore over the e-petition (surely just a petition?) against the potential government road pricing policy 

Beverley Hughes has written that she believes that all of the UK’s 29m workers (not just those with children under 6 or disabled children under 18 and carers from April 2007) should be able to request access to flexible working practices from their employer. the teeth of this measure need to be tested because currently all an employer has to do to comply with the existing legislation is to be able to prove they have considered the request seriously  although I’ve seen sketchy proof in my time. 

the petition, although round robin emails that have been circulating have tried to twist it’s original intent to  get the government to reconsider road pricing to the purposes of a wide ranging conspiracy theorists rant against a big brother state. don’t get me wrong I’m convinced something like this will be implemented even if it’s simply more and wider congestion charges the cost of motoring will go up it may not be £86 for the single mum but it’ll sure as hell be enough to make my boss take notice of my 50 mile round trip to work as a financial PITA for him as well as a social an mental trial for me (especially when it snows like on Friday).

add the consideration of your daily carbon footprint and frankly the argument for working from home becomes pretty compelling.  

The only problem with working from home, is that most people don’t truly work alone, unless you are solely producing original content, the importance of being able to share your availability with remote colleagues becomes paramount. 

the most common means of sharing your availability (or presence) is via instant messaging, back in the day ICQ & IRC kick started the trend but today systems are far more sophisticated.

Today  We have a number of mechanisms to provide IM and get used to them because

a ) your kids and their friends all use them already

b) 20% of businesses use them in some way

and

c) soon they will be ubiquitous. 

Eventually we’re  going to syndicate systems (come on open source guys here’s a real itch to scratch for Joel)  and so that my personal IM will allow me to interact with a contact centre operative or a work colleague, somebody who corners the single controllable presence market is going to make a killing.

The technology is here today but not so generously implemented as a whole. take IM add voice and calendar awareness and the system tells my colleagues when I’m available, soon it will be my colleagues, my customers, my friends, my Mum and my Gran it’ll tell them when I’m on the phone or working in Word or typing a mail and what are the most appropriate means to contact me and simply make it easy for them and give them a realistic expectation of when I’m going to respond.

This isn’t big brother because I can turn it off or appear unavailable so I take back control.

Mind you I have to get my Gran on the Internet yet – that’s the next project